Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is Laura’s favorite Indian food. Here in Medford we are woefully short of good Indian restaurants (or any good restaurants for that matter) so I tried making this last night and it turned out respectably well. We used two chicken thighs, which I boned and skinned and for the two of us that was plenty. However I made the full complement of sauce. I coated the chicken with the spice mixture and held back a bit more of the spice to add to the sauce in case it needed more flavor, which it did.

We served it with Basmati rice and home-made naan, which I had made earlier and had in the freezer. I have also included the recipe for the naan.

Chicken Tikka Masala


1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ cubes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons butter, clarified
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
1 cup tomatoes, crushed
1 can coconut milk (13 ounce)
1/2 cup chicken broth, or as needed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and ground black pepper to taste


1. Place chicken in a bowl and drizzle vegetable oil over chicken; toss to coat.

2. Whisk kosher salt, garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, ground turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom together in a small bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture over chicken and toss to coat evenly, reserving some spice mixture for later.

3. Melt clarified butter in a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Cook chicken pieces in hot butter until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

4. Reduce heat under the skillet to medium-high. Stir onion into skillet; saute until onion softens and turns translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir. Saute until paste caramelizes, about 5 minutes. Stir garlic and ginger into tomato-onion mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

5. Pour the crushed tomatoes into the skillet and bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Pour in coconut milk and chicken broth; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors blend and sauce is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.

6. Stir chicken, any accumulated juices from the chicken, cilantro, and red pepper flakes into tomato mixture; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until chicken is cooked through and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. If needed add a bit more of the reserved spices.

Naan Bread


3/4 cup water, lukewarm
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons buttermilk, or plain yogurt
2 cups bread flour, 250 grams (if you don’t have bread flour AP flour will work)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted


1. In a medium sized bowl sprinkle yeast over lukewarm water. Sprinkle sugar over top. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes or until foamy.

2. Whisk in olive oil and buttermilk (or yogurt). Sprinkle flour and salt over top. Mix until combined. Dough will be really wet and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. (Note: To create a warm spot, turn your oven on for 1 minute, then shut it off – it will be barely warm.)

3. Let rise until doubled, 1 to 2 hours. Forty-five minutes before baking, place pizza stone on propane grill and set burners on high (or in your oven on the highest heat setting.) Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and turn dough to coat. Divide dough into golf ball-sized sections. Dough will be sticky, so just try to handle it minimally using as much flour as needed to keep it from sticking to your hands and your work surface. Shape each section into a ball and let rest for at least 20 minutes before shaping but up to an hour if necessary.

4. Use your hands to gently stretch the dough, either in the air gently pulling the edges to stretch it evenly or along your work surface using all of your fingers to elongate it. You can fit two of these ovals at a time on the stone. Wet your fingers and lightly rub surface of dough with water. Carefully lay each oval on the stone and close the lid (or door).

5. Bake two minutes. Flip using tongs. Bake 1 minute. Remove from pizza stone. Brush with butter. Repeat with remaining rounds.


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